Have you ever entered a furniture showroom and thought to yourself how nice it would be to work with an interior designer? I have, but honestly when I see showroom designers running towards me, I feel like fish bait tossed into the sea. There is just something unnerving about several sales people, who claim they are designers - heck if I know who they are - just all of a sudden making a dash for you. So reason number one that I have never worked with a designer is that I get easily intimidated. Reason number two, I need to have ideas percolate in my head and someone pushing me to make a decision, that tends to have a heavy price tag attached to it, doesn't work either. So that brings me today's new find. What if you could get interior design advice on a more personal level, at a rate that won't cost an arm and a leg and that would give you time to sleep over these ever so stressful decisions of selecting fabrics, colors, styles, etc.?
Meet Roomations - Room Design Online - a website that connects you with interior designers who will prepare a complete design and shopping list for any room in your home before you start any dirty work.
Here is how it works:
1. Determine your Style - Take the Style Quiz
Lets all agree that tastes are very different and if you love a rustic cabin style decor your needs will be very different from someone who prefers the gilded and ornate chateau style. Besides being highly entertaining going through the style quiz was an eye opener for me. My home decor is actually chateau style, it's a long story - my mom's influence on my taste was always going for the grand. Anyhow, I did not see French chandeliers in my quiz, but all you have to do is click and favorite a few room images that you like best. The wizards at Roomations came to an agreement that my style must be "Tailored Classic". It said regardless whether I shop at Target or Ethan Allen, I look for furniture and home decor that reflects a timeless sense of style. Hmmmm, how did they know? In the color department the quiz determined that I like beiges and whites, well I am an orange and red person, but lately I have been drawn to more neutral and softer hues, so that was an interesting discovery.
2. Review your Style Board
In order to get ready for a particular room project you need to upload photos of your room to Roomations. Get this you can even upload photos via your smart phone. In order to get the best feedback, besides photos, measurements of the space are also needed, as well as what your budget for the makeover will be. I am planning to re-do my kitchen and as you creatives know, being an artist means that DIY projects make us giddy with excitement, so I will be letting them know that most of the work will be done by yours truly. Of course most sane people will hire contractors, so you should let them know how much of the work you plan to do yourself and how much you source out. Then it's time to pick your designers. You get to pick three - what?! Try this in the showroom "Ehmm..., I don't like your style and want to work with that other designer over there...." - I don't think that will ever work, unless you happen to be very outspoken. I am not, so I love that I can choose from three designers who submit their ideas and that I am not stuck with just one expensive design that I don't like.
Each designer you select will provide Style Boards (mood boards that suggest a look and feel including major materials and colors.) You can then pick your favorite for development into a vivid 3D picture of what your new room will look like.
4. Go shopping! At the end of the process, you’ll know exactly what your new room will look like after the remodel, what products you’ll need, where to buy them, and how much it will cost. Note on the 1st image how there are numbers on the photo. These numbers will correspond to a list of manufactures, like Sherman WIlliams, Pier One, Crate and Barrel, Ikea, etc.. Prices are given as well, so you can even do a price comparison once you start your shopping spree.
Now let's talk about what you really want to know, how much does this all cost? Working with designers can get expensive - not that good design advice is not worth every penny, but for those of us on shoestring budgets, it can make or break the deal. Roomations design advice can be as low as $20 for answering a simple questions like "which sofa design works best for my room" up to $540. One design board plus designer advice costs $250.00 , two boards and advice $300 and three boards $350.
If you have absolutely no imagination and/or decorating skills, you can even send in photos of your room and let the designers create the space for you in 3D. One style board costs $400, two boards $480 and three $540.00.
I really like the idea that you know upfront what the costs are and what you will be getting. It allows you to budget the designer fee, approximate cost for materials and accessories for your room renovation ahead of time. It eliminates nasty surprises due to miscommunication with your designer and you will know right from the start what the minimum budget requirements are to get your project completed.
2. 3D Models
I am extremely visual and taking someone's word that this couch will look great in that room, does not work for me. However seeing the couch in my room as a 3D model leaves little to complain about. When you are presented with a 3D model of your room all painted in your color scheme and furnished in your style, you will right away know if you like the selection. No more returns or having to wish you had selected something else before you made that pricey investment.
3. Set Your Own Pace
My hubby will start cleaning out rain gutters, before he will willingly be dragged to a designer showroom, which means no more begging and no more projects that are being put off due to lack of interest on your spouses part. As long as you have a budget in mind, you can start making plans for the make-over right there from the comfort of your own home. All the preliminary work of choosing colors, fabrics, furniture and accessories is done on-line. Once you have your design board set up on-line, you could technically take it via your laptop, Ipad or Iphone into the disaster zone to muse over weather you like the proposed design ideas or not. Working at your own pace with a designer means you can make these life changing decisions in your pyjamas regardless what time of day it is!
If you are ready to try out Roomations , the company has offered a 30% discount off any Roomations design package - just use code ROOM30
I would love to heat what you think of this new design concept. Would you use it as well? I am planning to redo my kitchen - it has seen better days - and am thinking about signing up. You might want to check back and see my before and after shots of the kitchen renovation.